Tag Archive for: Helen McEntee



On the 4th of March 2024, the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee announced that, effective from 7th March 2024, nationals of Dominica, Honduras and Vanuatu will now be required to obtain a visa before travelling to Ireland.

A transit visa will also be required for nationals of these countries if they are travelling through Ireland on the way to another destination.

The Minister stated that this decision was made to bring Ireland into closer alignment with the visa regime in the UK and Schengen area.

Transitional arrangements will be put in place for nationals of the affected countries who have existing arrangements to travel to the State in the weeks after the new visa requirements come into effect. For affected people who have made plans to travel to Ireland, and can show evidence of booking and paying for that travel, ISD will try to accommodate emergency travel for customers, in the following circumstances:

‘1. A critical medical case involving a family member being seriously ill or undergoing medical treatment.

  1. Visiting a significant family event – a birth, wedding or funeral.
  2. Taking up a place obtained in a third-level institution on an undergraduate or post graduate degree course.
  3. Taking up employment and holding an Employment Permit for Ireland.
  4. Travelling for business.’

Those attempting to be accommodated for emergency travel in any of the above circumstances must provide suitable evidence of same to ISD.

ISD has announced that if a person believes they fall into any of the above categories, and your scheduled arrival is on or before 7th April 2024, to email [email protected] with the subject line “Visa Imposition – Emergency Travel Required.”

This comes after the announcements that Convention Travel Document holders would now be visa required in July 2022, and that Bolivian nationals would be visa required in September 2023.

Ms McEntee also announced that the visa requirement for diplomatic passport holders of Indonesia, Qatar, Kuwait, Montenegro, Kuwait, Türkiye, Colombia, Peru and Georgia has now been lifted.

The requirement for a visa has also been listed for those accompanying a Minister of the Government of the above referenced countries on an official visit to the State, provided the person has an official passport, service passport or public affairs passport. The same policy applies for Irish diplomats travelling to these countries.

The Minister for Justice announced that this move would enhance the close ties in the political, economic and cultural spheres and continue to develop a close relationship with those countries.

The Minister for Justice stated that the Irish visa requirements are kept under constant review, having regard to the need to ensure that effective immigration controls are in place, whilst also facilitating those who wish to travel to Ireland for the purposes of a visit, to work, to study or to join family members.

The full notice can be found here.

This blog article has been prepared on the basis of current immigration law and policy, which is subject to change. Please keep an eye on our blog and Facebook page where articles relating to updates and changes in immigration law and policy are regularly posted.


On 3rd December 2021, the Minister for Justice announced a new scheme which will enable many undocumented migrants to apply to regularise their residency status.

The scheme will open for online applications in January 2022 and applications will be accepted for six months.

The scheme will include those who do not have a current permission to reside in Ireland, whether they arrived illegally or whether their permission expired or was withdrawn years ago.

In order to be eligible, applicants must have been undocumented for a period of four years, or three years in the case of those with dependent children.

According to a briefing session with Department of Justice officials held on 2nd December  2021, a short period of absence from the State in the undocumented period for those who would otherwise qualify will be disregarded. This will be limited to a max of 60 days absence from the State and the documented period arising from the short-term tourist permission (up to 90 days).

Applicants must meet standards regarding good character, though having convictions for minor offences will not, of itself, result in disqualification.

There will be no requirement for applicants to demonstrate that they would not be a financial burden on the State, as the scheme is aimed at those who may be economically and socially marginalised as a result of their undocumented status.

The scheme will also be open to individuals with expired student permission, those who have been issued with a section 3 notice under the Immigration Act 1999, and those who have received deportation orders.

The scheme is also expected to include international protection applicants who have been in the asylum process for a minimum of 2 years, though full details on this are yet to be announced.

There will be an application fee of €700 for family unit applications, while a fee of €550 will apply to individuals’ applications. Children up to 23 years, living with their parent(s), can be included in a family unit application.

Successful applicants will be granted residence permission which will allow access to the labour market and will provide a pathway to Irish citizenship.

Announcing the scheme, the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee stated:

“I’m delighted that the Government has approved my proposal for this momentous, once-in-a-generation scheme.

Given that those who will benefit from this scheme currently live in the shadows, it is difficult to say how many will be eligible, but we are opening this scheme for six months from January to allow people come forward and regularise their status.

It will bring some much-needed certainty and peace of mind to thousands of people who are already living here and making a valuable contribution to our society and the economy, many of whom may be very vulnerable due to their current immigration circumstances.”

As a result, they may be reluctant to seek medical assistance when ill, assistance from An Garda Síochána when they are the victim of a crime, or a range of other supports designed to assist vulnerable people in their times of need.”

I believe that in opening this scheme, we are demonstrating the same goodwill and generosity of spirit that we ask is shown to the countless Irish people who left this island to build their lives elsewhere.”

The full announcement can be read here.

Studies suggest that there are 17,000 undocumented persons in the State, including up to 3,000 children.

Berkeley Solicitors welcomes the announcement of this scheme, which will allow many undocumented migrants to come forward and apply to regularise their status.